Freight Yard Progress!
2010 was really a year of major expansion and construction for Quinntopia....it started last year with an ambitious project to redo the layout to expand my 'downtown' and add a tram line, create an interesting viaduct scene, and finally do something about my freight yard. Last summer, my construction work continued with an even more ambitious expansion of the layout outside of its previous dimensions! This included grades, bridges, painting my rails a good rust color, a new passenger terminal and more. In between all of this has, of course, been several new buildings built and lit.
Behind the scenes, I've also been upgrading all of my electrical work....I now have a 14 gauge wire bus for each of my four 'blocks', which I've noticed has increased the responsiveness of my locomotives where previously they would seem to ignore the commands! This expansion (especially with all of the yards) required some serious (for me) thinking about how to control all of the switches in a simple, efficient way, so I've been spending a lot of time thinking about how my "TCO" ("tableau de commande optique", or "Control Panel" as we might say in English [Thanks Pascal!]! I just like the sound of "TCO" better than control panel!) will look and planning to put it all together.
The good news is that a lot of the above is accomplished, and the layout is now - for the most part - ready for trains to be run again! Its really amazing to think that for the past year, most of my trains (and new ones I have acquired) have had little or no running time at all! I'm hopeful that this has changed!
The above photo (and those below) show the nearly completed freight yard (nothing is ever really 'finished' I find!).
Below is my SNCF CC72000...now one of my favorites given its aggressive looks, classic 'broken nose' and dynamic paint scheme. The roadway in the foreground was added to give some depth to the yard...and to act as a 'safety mechanism' (or 'anxiety remover'!) to prevent trains from free-falling to the floor!
Today's project is wiring and assembling the "TCO"....as you can see, a lot of 'speghetti' at the moment....but soon to be organized and arranged in proper order!